Everything Everywhere spectrum sale could speed up 4G rollout

By Sooraj Shah
10 Apr 2012 View Comments
The front of an Orange store

Mobile operator Everything Everywhere has confirmed that it has appointed financial services firm Morgan Stanley to oversee the sale of part of the company's 1800 MHz spectrum.

The sale will alert rival mobile operators that are keen to launch 4G services in the UK.

Further reading

Under the terms of the Orange and T-Mobile merger in the UK, which created Everything Everywhere, the company agreed to sell one quarter of its spectrum before the 800 MHz and 2.6 MHz spectrum auctions scheduled for later this year.

The FT believes that the sale could raise as much as £400m.

Last month, Everything Everywhere submitted an application to Ofcom to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services. The communications regulator supported the move, which would have allowed Everything Everywhere to become the first 4G services provider in the UK.

However, Ofcom bowed to pressure from rival networks who believed that the move would distort competition and has since extended the consultation period until 8 May 2012.

Speaking at a Westminster event a few weeks ago, head of spectrum at Telefonica O2, Nicholas Blades, said that rival network Three had signed a contract with Virgin Media to provide 4G services.

The CEO of Three, David Dyson, confirmed that on-going discussions were taking place, suggesting that Three could join Everything Everywhere in having 4G services available ahead of the spectrum auctions.

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